If Planned Parenthood CEO Alex McGill-Johnson wants to make good on her vow to atone for the organization’s racist past by doing better going forward, I have an idea: Stop fighting laws that would prevent abortions based on racism.
Take, for instance, the federal lawsuit, Box vs. Planned Parenthood, concerning two aspects of an Indiana law. The first, which was upheld in 2019 by the U.S. Supreme Court, required abortionists to cremate or bury the bodies of the babies they abort. The second prohibited abortionists to kill children if they know the mother’s reason for seeking the abortion is because of a baby’s race, sex or health status.
The Court did not rule on this aspect of the law because only the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals had weighed in on such a case at that time, and, as we have seen in other instances, the Supreme Court wanted the issue to percolate a bit more through the federal courts.
But earlier this month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional a similar law in Ohio that would protect disabled babies from being aborted based on discrimination.
Now that there exists a certain level of disagreement between two circuits, this may increase the chances of the Supreme Court taking up the matter of prohibiting abortions based on racist motives.
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So the question is whether Planned Parenthood wants to continue its objection to such laws.
In a separate opinion in the Box case, Justice Clarence Thomas said he was in favor of reviewing the race-sex-disability aspect of the Indiana law.
“This law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,” Justice Thomas wrote. “The use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical. The foundations for legalizing abortion in America were laid during the early 20th-century birth-control movement. That movement developed alongside the American eugenics movement. And significantly, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger recognized the eugenic potential of her cause.”
Abortion was not legal in Sanger’s day but Justice Thomas noted in his opinion that abortion is “significantly more effective as a tool of eugenics.”
No one is naïve or hopeful enough to believe Planned Parenthood – the nation’s number one abortion seller – will stop doing abortions, especially now that a nearly $60 million spigot is set to begin flowing again with federal Title X money. But is it also just wishful thinking that the organization, in deference to its new wokeness, will drop its objection to protecting Black babies whose race is the only reason they will be deprived of a birthday?
It’s unclear – as most things are when the subject is abortion – how many babies are killed in the womb simply because of their race. But in my book, one is too many, and any law that can save that one is worthwhile.
“Our reckoning is the work that comes next,” Ms. McGill-Johnson wrote for the Times. At this moment in the U.S., as history is being rewritten to cast white people in the role of either avowed or unwitting racists, what comes next for Planned Parenthood should be to move beyond merely a verbal distancing from racism, and stop trying to strike down laws that deal with it.
LifeNews Note; Father Frank Pavone is national director of Priests for Life and the national pastoral director of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The books he has authored include Abolishing Abortion and Proclaiming the Message of Life.